Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The opposition by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) put in place by the federal government may not end soon as the union has reiterated its determination to expose alleged fraud in IPPIS, using its alternative platform, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
The President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in a letter addressed to zonal coordinators, chairpersons and members of the union, a copy of which was made available to THISDAY in Ibadan yesterday by the Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan chapter, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, said UTAS, if accepted by the federal government, would expose the weakness of IPPIS.
Ogunyemi described the IPPIS as “a business venture of some interest groups” in Nigeria, adding that “their profit margin increases by the increasing number of university staff they are able to capture.”
He urged members of the union not to waiver in their resolve to reject IPPIS.
He described the withholding and the alleged distortion of salaries by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation as a ploy to hoodwink and arm-twist ASUU members to back down on their opposition to IPPIS.
ASUU had been on strike for some months over alleged unfulfilled agreements signed with the federal government.
Ogunyemi assured members that once the issue of payment platform is sorted out, the union will then pursue to a logical conclusion the main demands behind the ongoing strike.
He added that as a collective, the union will be able to “negotiate and secure what is good for Nigerian academics and our university system.”
“As expected, the vested interests are uncomfortable with the emergence of the university transparency (UTAS) because of its potential for exposing the IPPIS fraud. The impression earlier created was that no further payment of salaries could be made without “data capture”.
However, the IPPIS office has forcefully migrated all academic staff in federal universities to the platform and what is being done now is to “formalise” the process.
“Deliberate withholding and distortion of salary payment by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) are ploys to hoodwink and arm-twist ASUU members to swallow their vomit on IPPIS. At this stage, it is unedifying to see ASUU members filing to the bursar’s office of OAGF for IPPIS data capture. Apart from betraying the union, many of those who attempted to “go solo” have also been ridiculed beyond description. Even non-members respect the ASUU for its informed and principled position on IPPIS,” he added.